Former Cavalier Ron Harper describes Kyrie Irving’s trade request as “youth, ignorance”

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Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin called Kyrie Irving‘s trade request “courageous.” Griffin credited Irving for not just going along with everything and pretending to be happy, then “sinking the ship from within.”

Griffin’s comment was a response to former Cavaliers guard and five-time NBA champion Ron Harper’s comments on the Irving trade request to Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.

“Youth. Ignorance,” Harper said Sunday of Irving, 25, after signing autographs at the legends booth on Cavs day at the $9.75 million World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

“When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it…

“It’s not a guarantee that the Cavaliers are going to trade him to a good team,” Harper said. “I asked a guy, ‘What happened to the old-school days?’ When a guy asked to get traded, you traded him to the sorriest team. That’s the way it worked.”

Many former NBA players feel the way Harper does, and a lot of us in Irving’s shoes would probably stay in Cleveland and chase the ring. However, I’ve got no problem with players taking control of their own destiny — if star players want to team up to try to win, and they can push for that/control it through free agency, more power to them. They need not be just hapless employees subject to the whims of GMs and owners (who would not be loyal to them, players get traded when it’s convenient for management).

Irving wants out — most likely because he knows LeBron James likely wouldn’t be loyal to him next summer and Irving wanted to be proactive. He may not land in his desired location, but Irving is trying to control his own fate.

He’s just trying to walk away from a situation a lot of players would love to be in, so there is backlash.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.